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Flawed Characters vs. “Too Dumb to Live”: What Makes the Difference?

Which is more important? Plot or character? To write great fiction, we need both. Plot and characters work together. One arc drives the other much like one cog serves to turn another, thus generating momentum in the overall engine we call “STORY.” Writers have a unique challenge. On one hand we need a rock solid …

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Bad People Make Better Stories: Crafting the Perfect ‘Unlikable’ Character

Bad people make better stories. Why? Because I cannot say this enough, ‘Fiction is about one thing and one thing only—PROBLEMS.’ Who better to create a lot of problems than damaged, broken, unlikable, foolish and possibly even unredeemable human beings? ***I use the term ‘human beings’ for all characters because aliens, otherworldly beings, and any …

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5 Newbie Mistakes that Will KILL a Perfectly Good Story

We all make mistakes, especially when learning anything new. Writing is not immune to process. Contrary to popular belief, writing great stories is HARD. It takes time, devotion, training, mentorship, blood, sacrifice and the willingness to make a ton of mistakes. This means countless hours and probably years of practice (which also means writing a …

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Three Ways We Sabotage Our Own Success & How to Change

Self sabotage is so common in our Western culture, I think we’re almost oblivious to how much we actually do it. We’re even more clueless about specifically WHY we do it. The answer is pretty simple, but I’ll add in something special to spice it up a bit. *jazz hands* #YouAreWelcome Whether we want to …

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How Writing Faster Can Vastly Improve Your Storytelling

writing, writing tips, writing faster, fast draft, editing, Kristen Lamb, how to write a novel

Many new authors slog out that first book, editing every word to perfection, revising, reworking, redoing. When I used to be a part of critique groups, it was not at all uncommon to find writers who’d been working on the same book two, five, eight and even ten years.  Still see them at conferences, shopping the same …

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